Soda Crackers

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Since my grand-girl isn’t yet eating cookies or sugary things, I was looking for some kind of recipe we could use for her to roll dough. Crackers! That’s it! Sure enough, I found a recipe using old school method – I looked in one of my cookbooks! More-with-Less Cookbook, put out by the Mennonite Central Committee in 1976, which I got in 1980 according to my note inside. It’s full of recipes from all over the world, and some basic ones, like crackers.

Soda Crackers (with my variations)
Makes about 1/2 lb
375°f oven, 10-12 minutes
Preheat oven.

Combine in a bowl:
2 cups flour (I used regular white)
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda

cut in – 2 T cold margarine (I used butter)

Stir in 2/3 Cup sour milk or buttermilk (I used buttermilk, available dried in the baking section of most grocery stores. However, I think one can substitute plain yogurt for this, or a nut milk) I added a dash of worcestershire sauce to the liquid. I think some hot sauce would be nice, if one likes spicy.

I added a cup of grated cheddar cheese, too.

Round dough into a ball and knead a few strokes. (I used my food processor for all of the above, gently and not over-doing it, I hope)

Divide dough into several pieces and roll out very thin on a floured board. (I’m not sure I rolled it thin enough but was unsure of what I was doing. Next time, I won’t be so afraid and will roll it thinner.)

Lay sheets on un-greased flat baking pan. Sprinkle with alt and prick with a fork.
Cut into 1 1/2″ pieces using a sharp knife or pizza cutter. (I wasn’t so precise with squares.)

Bake 10 – 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.

These puffed up! I liked the crispy edge ones, but my honey liked the middle pieces which were soft in the middle (not thin enough!) I was pleased with the results and think this will be a good recipe to make with the grand.

Try it and let me know what you think. It’s so basic and lends itself to personal touches.

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Our Aunt Elna’s Apple Pie

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Preheat oven to 450 F

2 Cups flour
1/2 pound of cold butter (2 sticks)
1 beaten egg

3 pounds or more apples (assorted varieties)
1/2 C sugar (or a bit less)
2 T flour
1 t cinnamon

1/4 C brown sugar
3T room temperature butter
1/4 C lemon juice
additional sugar for sprinkling on top

– peel and cut apples into slices and put into a large bowl. Mix with the sugar, flour, and cinnamon.
-Blend the flour and butter until crumbs are formed ( I use a food processor to do this) After crumbs are made, add the beaten egg and process to form a dough ball.
DO NOT over process.
-Pat 1/2 of this mixture into the bottom of a large pie pan or a 13″ x 9″ pan.
DO NOT handle this dough too much.or the butter will get warm. We don’t want that to happen. Reserve remaining dough for top crust.
-Put the apples in the pan. On top of apples, put the brown sugar, bits of the butter, and the lemon juice.
-Take remaining dough and form into flattened pieces and place all over the top of the apples. There’ll be some empty spaces, which is okay. Sprinkle some sugar on the top.
-Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until apples test soft. If the crust is browning to much, cover the top with a piece of aluminum foil.

Let me know if you make this! Enjoy!

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Passover Dessert – Matzahmisu!

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A cousin brought us two boxes of chocolate covered matzah for Passover. It was decided that we should make a dessert with them and as a group came up with this idea. Maybe it’s already been done, but we’re pretty pleased with what we concocted.

Two boxes of chocolate covered matzah

A can of dulce de leche

amaretto liqueur

whipping cream

slivered or sliced blanched almonds

Put some amaretto and some dulce de leche drizzle in the bottom of a baking pan. Break up some boards of matzah and put the pieces on top, saving the broken off bits of chocolate. spread some dulce de leche on this then another layer of matzah. Cover with some dulce de leche, some broken up chocolate pieces, saving a few for garnish on top.

Whip up whipped cream with some amaretto until it’s stiff. No need to add sugar to this. Cover top of matzah with whipped cream, sprinkle on remaining chocolate crumbs and slivered toasted almonds.

We put ours in the freezer for a couple hours, but putting it in the refrigerator might work as well. It was a hit. It was even better day 2, yes we had some left over but not for long. Next year, we’re going to add a shot of expresso on the bottom as well as the amaretto. We think that’ll be delish.

We might not wait until next Passover to make this again. It was sooo good. Hardly the “bread of affliction!”

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Lentil Soup – Really Good!

French Lentil Soup
(from Veganomicon cookbook)

serves 8, takes about 1 hour

“This is the last lentil soup recipe you will ever need.” a quote from the cookbook.

1 T olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced ( used a small one & a small red onion)
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into fine dice ( I used a bunch of small ones that I had)
5 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced (I used 1/2 a large can of diced tomatoes)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 T dried tarragon (used just a smidge of tarragon)
1 t dried thyme ( substituted basil)
1 t paprika (Hungarian preferred)
6 C water or veggie broth (used Better Than Bouillon veg. base)
2 C French lentils (used regular lentils)
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 t salt
several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
I added a pinch of sugar and a pinch of baking soda (opt.)

Preheat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add oil. Saute the onion and carrots for about 10 minutes, until the onions have browned a bit. Add the garlic, tarragon, thyme, and paprika, and saute for 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and a little splash of water (I had the liquid from the tomatoes), stir well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add the water, lentils, bay leaves and pepper, then cover and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cook, covered for about 45 minutes, or until lentils are tender. * If the soup looks too thin, uncovered and simmer for a couple more minutes. If it looks too thick, add a little more water.
*(I added the pinch of sugar and baking soda)
Serve with a crusty bread.

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Pumpkin Bread

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I saw a baking pan in an old magazine and loved the way it looked. My honey went on-line and got it for me. What a nice treat and what a lovely bread it makes. The pan is by Nordic Ware and the recipe for this bread was included on the pan label.

Pumpkin Bread
(Nordic Ware recipe)

1 (16 oz) can of pumpkin (I used just about 2 cups of home made baked pumpkin mashed up.
1 3/4 C sugar
2/3 C vegetable oil
1 t vanilla
4 eggs
3 C flour
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmet
1/8 t ground cloves (omitted this ‘cause I didn’t have any)
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 C raisins or craisins (next time I think I’ll add unsweetened flaked coconut)

Heat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour pan (I used Baker’s Joy spray that has the flour in it.) Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs. Blend well. Stir in remaining ingredients except raisins/craisins. Mix until blended. Stir in the raisins. Pour batter into prepared pan (there’s enough for TWO pans.) Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.

Yum, so good.

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Irish Cocannon

colcannon

2 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 pound, about 4 cups, of Kale. Washed, stemmed, and chopped.
1 C half and half or light cream
1 large bunch of green onions, chopped fine
5 T butter, melted
1 t salt
pepper to taste

In a large pan, cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain thoroughly.
While potatoes are cooking, cook the kale in a separate pan of boiling wter until very tender. Drain thoroughly.
In a small saucepan, simmer the green onions in the cream just until tender.
Mah the potatoes well. Add cream and onions. Mix in kale, salt and pepper. Mound potatoes in a large bowl. Using a spoon, make a well in the top of the potatoes,. Pour the melted butter into the well. Serve hot.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.

I got this recipe out of a newspaper & tucked it into a cookbook. It’s dated 5.05.08, and I’m sure I never made it. But tonight, I had the ingredients ready and you can make the recipe this way, also.
I had on hand already cooked potatoes, so I peeled and mashed those. I, also, had a small amount of steamed cauliflower left from another recipe, so I mashed that into the potatoes, too.

I had a small amount of kale already cooked from earlier this week. I’d cooked it by tossing it in olive oil and garlice, then steaming it until it was tender. I chopped that up and tossed it into the potatoes.
I didn’t have green onions so I finely chopped regular onions and cooked them in a mix of some heavy whipping cream that I had, mixed with some soy milk. I mixed that into the potatoes as per the recipe. When all were mixed together, I poured melted butter on top.

The quantities were less than the original recipe, and I think you can play around with that. Mine made enough for 2 hearty servings.
The result was quite delicious. Even my husband, who wont go near kale, enjoyed the flavor of this dish.
I hope you try it, then let me know how you like it.

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Baked Tofu cubes

tofuBaked Tofu

Set oven to 350°F.

I don’t know where I got this recipe from as it’s scrawled, in my handwriting, on a small piece of paper. I wish I could give attribution but thank you to whomever gave this to me or published it. I love it!

Toss cubes of firm tofu (I use a locally made tofu that is very dense) into a mixture of olive oil, 1t sesame oil, 2 t soy sauce, sesame seeds (amount your decision.) Place in a single layer on a parchment paper lined pan (I didn’t have parchment so I just did without) and bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, crush up a clove of garlic and mix in whatever sauce is left from mixing the tofu at first. Take the tofu from oven and plop into the garlic mix and toss. Return to oven in single layer again, and bake about 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. If your cubes are tiny like mine were, takes less time to brown. Adjust amount of olive oil to taste, also, you can add chili oil for some heat.

Easy, quick, and yummy!

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